Title: Highway Dragnet Summary: Wrongly accused of killing a bar-girl he was seen with earlier, a Korean War vet flees from the police in the company of a woman photographer and her young female model. Directed by: Nathan Juran Actors: Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix Production Company: William F. Broidy Productions Release Date: 27 January 1954 (USA) Aspect Ratio: 1.66 : 1
Mrs. Cummings, a free-lance magazine photographer and a recent widow after her husband committed suicide, and her model, Susan, are on an assignment to cover resorts California and Nevada. Driving west from Las Vegas they pick up Jim Henry, a recently-discharged Marine, who is hitchhiking to the home of a friend near the Salton Sea. Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, a blonde known casually by Jim, is found murdered. Jim becomes the object of a manhunt directed by Police-Lieut. White Eagle of the Las Vegas police.
January 2, 2014 Subject:
3 thumbs up!
This is a miniature masterpiece, never missing a step, from story to dialogue, acting to photography. Mary Beth Hughes, one of my favorites, turns out a superb characterization. The other 4 leads all hold their own very well, Joan Bennett, Richard Conte, Wanda Hendrix and Reed Hadley.
Superb settings and photography across Death Valley and to the Salton Sea. The landscape and the quietness of the open road and desert set just the right mood.
The movie records the simple, scruffy, dusty real life of the southwestern desert country between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and places a well constructed little murder mystery in the midst of it. I'll admit I guessed the killer in the first 15 minutes but still found it suspenseful because I was curious to see how the truth would come out. It kept me guessing right up to the end.